ORLANDO, Fla. — Kevin Durant missed the jumper and stared.
Reggie Jackson and Thabo Sefolosha collided on the rebound attempt, rendering them useless.
Serge Ibaka was trailing the play, just chilling.
And Jeremy Lamb was left by his lonesome, without enough help to stop one of the wildest late-game losses in Thunder history.
Magic 103, Thunder 102, the Orlando game-winner Friday night coming on a buzzer-beating 3-on-1 dunk as time expired.
“We could’ve got back,” a frustrated Scott Brooks said afterward. “KD didn’t get back, Thabo didn’t get back, Reggie was jogging back.”
The wild sequence at Amway Center was set into motion with six seconds left, OKC up one, and Durant attempting to ice the game with one of those feathery fadeaways that have been nearly automatic the past month.
But Durant’s attempt was errant, drilling back iron and sending a long rebound out toward the 3-point line. As both Sefolosha and Jackson crashed in for the rebound, Magic rookie Victor Oladipo deftly snared it with his left hand and, in one motion, accelerated by them with four seconds on the clock.
“You don’t go for a steal,” Brooks said. “You get back. It’s a 50-50 ball, if you don’t come up with it, you have to get back.”
But the Thunder’s fate wasn’t sealed.
Lamb hustled into the backcourt and put himself in a good position to challenge Oladipo’s attempt. Rerouted, Oladipo was forced to pass the ball.
With two seconds left, he hit Mo Harkless with quick bounce pass. And in a gutsy move given the lack of time, Harkless left it for Tobias Harris, the trailer, who slammed it in as time expired.
At the time of Durant’s miss, Harris was under his own hoop, next to Ibaka and about 10 feet behind Durant.
But Durant and Ibaka didn’t make it past halfcourt. And Harris made the Thunder pay.
“No excuse,” Durant said. “It was one of them plays where you’re stuck watching, you think the clock’s gonna run out. (But) you never know what’s gonna happen. I should have got back. I should have made the shot, to be honest.”
It’s the play that’ll be talked about until Sunday and, if playoff seeding comes down to a single game, could burn OKC far beyond that.
But it certainly wasn’t the only reason the Thunder lost the game. It was just a microcosm of the defensive effort that doomed OKC in the second half.
OKC came in 40-11 overall and 16-3 against the East. Orlando was 14-37 overall and 3-16 against the West. The Thunder led by 17 points midway through the second quarter and 14 at halftime.
The game felt over, until suddenly it wasn’t.
OKC stopped making shots and stopped exerting much effort on the other end. Orlando started the second half on a 46-28 run and, by the time the Thunder had cranked the defense back up, it was too late.
“We can’t play like that,” Durant said. “We give a team confidence at home, give them hope and they can win a basketball game after being down so much.”
And on this night, not even their MVP could save them.
Uncharacteristically, Durant missed his final five shots. The final one resulted in a reverse dagger.